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Cameras in the courtroom

Photo coverage of court cases allowed for first time in Kane County

Published: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Sandy Bressner file photo - sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Clifford McIlvaine of St. Charles appears before Judge David Akemann during a status hearing at the Kane County Courthouse in Geneva. The case marked the first time in which cameras were used in a Kane County courtroom.

GENEVA – For the first time, news cameras were allowed inside Kane County courtrooms in 2013.

The Kane County Chronicle was granted access for the first such event in the county. Photo editor Sandy Bressner was allowed to take still photos in July at a status hearing for a civil case between the city of St. Charles and Clifford McIlvaine.

The process requires media organizations wishing to provide such coverage to follow a process so that several parties, including the judge, can grant the organization extended media coverage. Kane County became the 29th county in the state to permit cameras in courtrooms.

During the hearing involving McIlvaine, Bressner was allowed to take a position in the back corner of the courtroom, using equipment wrapped around her digital camera to muffle the sound of the shutter click. The Illinois Supreme Court cleared the way for the moment after approving policies in May that allowed the use of cameras – including video cameras – in the 16th Judicial Circuit.

– Al Lagattolla

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